Jack Stillmans Fight Against Cancer
A father, a husband, a cousin, a brother, a friend, a soldier, a good man. Dedicated. Selfless. Loving. Funny and humble. Those are just a few of the ways my cousin Jack brings goodness into the lives of the people around him. On October 6th, Jack was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large T-Cell Lymphoma, and since then it has rocked not only his world but the world of his family, his wife Alina Stillman (Shkolnikova) and his two little boys Aiden and Jackson. A full time soldier in the US Army, Jack has dedicated himself to being a rock and provider for his family, making us proud since day one. On October 19th, Jack got the devastating news from his oncologist that his cancer is stage 4B. Now more than anything, he needs prayers, love, faith and support. When I asked his wife Alina what we could do, what do they need, she simply replied prayers. We need them and God is listening.
At 22 years old Jack is a loving husband, an amazingly proud dad and has broken records in his achievements in the army. Life handed him the ultimate heartbreak when a month ago, he found a dime sized lump under his left arm by his ribs. It grew excessively to create a second lump, and Jack had to immediately have surgery to remove the lymph node. Since then, Jack has been in and out of the hospital with Alina by his side, hoping and praying everyday for Jacks strength and determination to continue to outweigh the pain and reality of everything that is happening..Jack has already been through so many grueling tests and procedures, and with Alina by his side he will begin aggressive Chemotherapy and endure it for the next 4-6 months. Their boys being just 3 and 5 years old, Alina and Jack have their hands full and dedicate themselves to their family and working hard to provide and fill their lives with love. Their parents and family are all in Ohio, while they are stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Jack, your words are so strong, they replay throughout my mind as I marvel at your positivety and love for life. We are so proud of the man that you've become, and we will always be here for you, Alina, Jackson and Aiden. Family over everything.
They say it takes a village, and this village of love and support is an incredible one. Alina and Jack would never ask for help, so I ask for them, if you can contribute during this time it would be so appreciated. Whether it is $1, or kind words, or love, or prayers...they can use them right now.
All contributions received will be used by Alina and Jack for medical related expenses. Childcare for their two little boys, lodging and travel expenses during the weeks Jack receives chemo, meals for their family, etc.
"Throughout my whole life I have gone through roadblocks that I never thought I would be able to overcome, but I did and this is just another one of those. Why? is the question I ask myself, why me? I am 100% percent healthy; go to the gym everyday and eat like a health nut, never had a surgery before this one, the last time I got sick was when I was a junior in high school. The Dr. told me, "It's just bad luck." I believe strongly that GOD will not give you something you can't handle and in the end once this is all over and I recover 100% it will make me a stronger man than I am today and us a stronger family. I am a warrior, a fighter, a husband, a dad, a son, a brother, a friend, a soldier and a follower of Christ. I WILL NOT let this get in the way, I WILL beat this, and WE WILL come out on top once again. Please send all your prayers to me and my family during this time and don't give up on us, because we will not give up on each other. Thank you all!! God Bless..." -Jack Stillman, the day of his diagnosis October 6, 2016
Military article written by the Fort Bragg Paraglide.
Article written by the USA Today network.
Article written by Pacific Daily News.
Article written by the Fort Bragg Paraglide.
Thank you to those of you that have donated to help our family in such a dark time. Thank you to those of you that continue to keep our family in your daily thoughts & prayers. Your prayers mean the world to us. You all have shown us the true meaning to "No One Fights Alone".
As some of you know, Jack began gruesome chemotherapy in October of 2016. He went through 6 rounds of CHOEP (also known as E-POCH). He had CHOEP every 21 days, for 3 consecutive days. He showed great response after just one treatment! We thought we were on the road to beating cancer.
Jack finished CHOEP on February 9th 2017, he got to ring the bell, & was given the all clear. We believed he was on the road to recovery & we were all on our way to beginning a new "normal". Unfortunately, that all would change just 4 weeks later...
Jack fell ill in March 2017, he started having calf pain, shoulder pain, & spiked a 102.5 fever. He was admitted to the hospital where a biopsy was done on his calf. The next morning we received devastating news that the cancer was back.
The following week, Jack had a PET scan to see if the cancer had spread outside of the calf. Our world crumbled before us, PET scan results revealed that the cancer had spread to the soft tissue, organs & lymph nodes. He was in the fight of his life again, battling stage 4 cancer for the second time in a short 5 month period.
Jack is currently prepping to undergo an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant & he will be apart of a new clinical trial that he is eligible for. He will be the 4th participant in this trial. 2 of the participants unfortunately relapsed, & one of them is 6 months into remission. We are praying that Jack will be the 2nd one to fall into a remission/cure.
The ultimate goal is for a cure. The transplant its self is a very harsh process. Jack will have another PET scan on June 13th 2017. On June 14th he will be admitted to UNC BMT unit to start the transplant. He will undergo a week of high dose chemo, & on June 20th he will have the transplant. He will spend 3-4 weeks in the hospital. After he is discharged, he will stay in a nearby hospital facility for a few weeks so he can be monitored closely by UNC to make sure there are no complications. He will also undergo the clinical trial part of the transplant once he is discharged. The team of doctors are currently re engineering his T Cells to make them fight off the lymphoma. Once they are re engineered, the doctors will infuse Jack with the new cells. Jack & Alina will be away from their baby boys for 1.5 months while they are at UNC for Jack's treatment during June/July.
Please take a moment to click the link below to read more about Jack's journey & family. The article was published by KSWO ABC 7 news.
To follow Jack's journey & updates, please click the link below to join the "TeamStillman" facebook group.